Nike today announced a new basketball sneaker
that includes self-tying laces, and it works with a smartphone app to adjust the fit. Called the Nike Adapt BB, a custom motor and gear train figures out how tight to automatically lace the sneakers when the user puts them on. The fit can be adjusted manually using the lighted buttons on the side of the shoe, or through the Nike Adapt app. Whether making adjustments with the buttons or through the app, those wearing the sneakers can change the fit of the sneaker whenever they feel the need to. Nike calls this technology FitAdapt.
As an example, Nike says that during a timeout, those playing in a basketball game can loosen the shoe before tightening it up just before play resumes. A future update to the app will allow Nike Adapt BB wearers to use a different tightness setting just for warm-ups. The app can also change the color of the power buttons on the side of the sneaker.
"We picked basketball as the first sport for Nike Adapt intentionally because of the demands that athletes put on their shoes. During a normal basketball game the athlete’s foot changes and the ability to quickly change your fit by loosening your shoe to increase blood flow and then tighten again for performance is a key element that we believe will improve the athlete’s experience."-Eric Avar, VP Creative Director of Innovation, Nike
The new sneakers were tested by "an elite group" of basketball players at Nike's World Headquarters in Oregon. These hoopsters played pickup games and ran workouts to test the Nike Adapt. Among those testing the new basketball shoe was Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics.
The Nike Adapt BB will launch on February 17th, 2019 at 10am ET. The sneakers will be available from the Nike.com web site, priced at $350.